Void the FOID? Illinois Supreme Court deciding. (WICS)
After overcoming lawsuits and several obstacles the Illinois Assault Weapons Ban is facing another hurdle, a petition from a state representative. Republican State Representative Dan Caulkins filed the petition for the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Illinois high courts decision on the Assault Weapons Ban. Sinclair’s Marlena Lang spoke with a local political expert about the petition. He said it is uncommon for cases involving state law and constitution, like this one, to be brought before the nation's highest court.

“Normally that does not happen because the State Supreme Court has the final say on what the state constitution means,” explained former University of Illinois Springfield political science professor Kent Redfield.

The petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, filed by Rep. Caulkins, other local leaders and gun owners, states they filed their petition on grounds of due process, equal protection, and the Second Amendment. The petition also mentions two justices on the case who received campaign endorsements and funds from those in favor of the Assault Weapons Ban, leading Caulkins to question their impartiality and independence in the case.

Redfield said that much of the state courts decision was made under the Illinois Constitution, which has final say in state matters.

“The decision that is being appealed addressed primarily legislative process requirements under the Illinois State Constitution,” said Redfield.

Redfield said there are two federal issues that the petition does raise. The right to due process under the 14th Amendment and the right to bear arms under the 2nd Amendment, but there are concerns there too.

“He (Caulkins) is raising a federal issue but it is a federal issue that was not addressed in the original case or in the appeal that the Illinois Supreme Court took,” explained Redfield.

While Redfield is skeptical whether or not the U.S. Supreme Court will take the case, Rep. Caulkins believes he and his team have made a strong case.

“There are thousands of cases filed with the U.S. Supreme Court every year, and they don't take very many of them, but we're very hopeful that we've made a good case,” said Caulkins. “So we have a solid case. This is a grassroots, we haven't hired some big Washington DC law firm to represent us. It's the local attorneys and we'd like to see them take this case and make a point.”

Redfield also says this may be a way to get the Assault Weapons Ban law to the U.S. Supreme Court faster, as there are currently many lawsuits waiting to be heard by a number of Illinois courts. Though he does believe the law will make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court one day.


The petition does not affect the law at the moment, it will remain in effect until if and when the U.S. Supreme Court decides to take the case and put a restraining order on the law.